Appointment of first Chief Information Security Officer at The University of Manchester

Heather Lowrie has been appointed as the University’s first Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and will be joining us at the start of May 2023.

Heather will lead on the strategic transformation of information security and identity & access management services, and the design and implementation of a coherent vision for the protection of the University’s digital footprint.

Heather joins the IT Services team at The University of Manchester from the Scottish Government, where she held the position of Head of Cyber Security, Risk and Resilience for National Records of Scotland. In this role, Heather supported the delivery of secure and resilient public services across Scotland and led a team responsible for protecting and securing Scotland’s national archival, statistical and civil registration information.

In 2022 Heather provided cyber security assurance, oversight and operational management for Scotland’s first digital-first Census. The Scottish Census collects, processes and stores information for more than five million Scottish residents, providing a detailed snapshot of the population and its characteristics. Census returns must be kept secure and confidential for 100 years, and the results support the planning and delivery of a wide range of public services for people living and working in Scotland.

Heather brings a wealth of knowledge in her field and will be a fantastic addition to our IT senior leadership team. Importantly, Heather has experience dealing with various external accreditors that will support ouráresearch mission by providing the frameworks that many grants require, such as Cyber Essentials . I look forward to working with Heather and our University colleagues to collectively protect our University’s digital footprint and enable our world-leading research, teaching and learning to continue.


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Prior to joining the Scottish Government, Heather held technical and IT leadership roles in the financial services industry. Heather is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassador and currently serves as a member of the UK Cyber Security Council’s Outreach and Diversity Working Group.

Commenting on joining our University, Heather said: "The University of Manchester is an exceptional and truly global institution with a wide range of IT systems and platforms serving more than 75,000 stakeholders worldwide. I am delighted to be joining as the first Chief Information Security Officer - this is an amazing opportunity for me, and I am really looking forward to getting started and working with everyone."

PJ Hemmaway, Director of IT Services, said: "Heather brings a wealth of knowledge in her field and will be a fantastic addition to our IT senior leadership team. Importantly, Heather has experience dealing with various external accreditors that will support our research mission by providing the frameworks that many grants require, such as Cyber Essentials .

"I look forward to working with Heather and our University colleagues to collectively protect our University’s digital footprint and enable our world-leading research, teaching and learning to continue."

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